As one of the most effective and reliable forms of renewable energy, it’s no wonder that wind farms are becoming a more common sight across the country. The average person driving by these towering turbines might wonder how these gigantic machines make it to their destinations.
The short answer is that it isn’t easy — contractors and energy companies have to overcome numerous wind turbine logistics challenges. One of these is transporting wind turbine blades by truck over the highway, which requires specialized equipment and skilled drivers. As challenging as this can be, however, it may be much easier than what comes next. Because these wind farms are in remote locations without paved roads, carrying components for the final leg of the journey can be a task in and of itself. This is where access mats become a crucial element of the planning for such projects.
THE CHALLENGES OF THE LAST MILE
One of the biggest obstacles for wind energy transport is handling the final steps. Not only do trucks need to be able to carry equipment to its permanent location, but heavy machinery such as cranes need stability to install it. Unfortunately, most of these projects must be staged and constructed in some difficult conditions.
The untamed nature of these jobsites means there’s likely unstable or rugged terrain. Whether the ground is too soft, muddy or rocky, it may not be safe or secure to move large-scale machines across it. Attempting to do so might damage vehicles and risk costly delays that can derail progress.
In addition, contractors may need to cross agricultural fields or ecologically sensitive wetlands. The pressure exerted on the ground by treads and tires can cause lasting harm to these areas. If there are no existing access roads across these areas, determining how to get to the site can be a big problem.
USING ACCESS MATS TO SOLVE THE CHALLENGE
Fortunately, there is a solution to these and many other issues related to accessing these types of project locations. Many contractors use hardwood timber access mats to create temporary roadways and staging platforms. That’s because these access mats are relatively easy to install and disassemble. Further, the benefits they provide make them an ideal choice for solving logistical challenges on wind farm projects.
One of the most important advantages of these mats is that they can be used to create a stable surface. This means vehicles can cross challenging terrain without worrying about becoming stuck or damaged by hidden rocks. They also make it possible for trucks and cranes to enter such areas without damaging the ground because they absorb the pressure created by large machinery. The result is fewer delays, lower overall costs, and enhanced safety for crew members.
CHOOSE YAK MAT
As a recognized leader in access solutions with an inventory of more than 1 million products throughout North America, there’s no better place to turn than YAK MAT. We have delivered mats used for a large number of renewable energy projects all over the country.
This article is contributed by YAK MAT. YAK MAT is the largest supplier of access mats in North America, specializing in providing access solutions for energy products. Pioneering the industry since 1976, YAK MAT offers clients economies of scale and a variety of ready to ship construction protection mats in close proximity to any project, anywhere in the United States.